Follow
Share

My Mom died a year and a half ago. He is still in good physical health but has dementia. He is just a nasty old man. He always was. Now he's worse. I may need to get out of here for my own sanity.

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
I should also add that I was unable to check on my mom on a daily basis because I live 1200 miles from my parents. Fortunately, we had a care manager who checked on my mom frequently, but was unable to do so on a daily basis, as I think is necessary. And, my dad "couldn't be bothered" going to her facilities to check on her on a daily basis, mainly because he didn't want to spend the money for cab fare to go the two miles to her place. When my mom became demented, I had wanted my parents to move to the where I live so I could keep a closer watch over both of them. But, my dad adamantly refused. That's the other thing with having elderly parents: I think it's better if they can live near where at least one of their adult children lives so that the adult children can be keeping a better and closer watch on their parents. 1200 miles away is really too hard to do this. And, you have to depend on the word of others to tell you how things are going because your elderly parents certainly aren't going to be real truthful about this since they fear losing their independence if it's discovered that they're not managing very well.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My demented mom had some mixed experiences in adult care homes, some good and some not so good--- but mostly not so good until she had 1:1 care giving in her own apartment. It seems like these care homes would start out taking really good care of her, then there would be staff changes and it would go downhill and my mom would be neglected. After having this happen over a 2 year period, we finally put her in her own apartment with 1:1 care giving and a care manager, who had been overseeing and managing my mom's care for 2 - 3 years even when she was in the various facilities, who also oversaw the caregivers and managed the household. My mom got very good care and was doing quite well in this 1:1 care giving situation (better than she previously had been) until two of the caregivers got disgruntled and contacted authorities and lied to them about the care manager whom they didn't like because she made them do their jobs, instead of allowing them to sit around talking on their cellphones all day when they should have been doing for my mom-- their lies were later revealed during a court hearing and the judge threw out all of their statements as lies and threw out the entire case. Because of the authorities' profound ignorance and incompetence in their investigation of the two caregivers' statements and my severely mentally ill dad's lies to authorities, my mom was unnecessarily traumatized by authorities and was traumatically and unnecessarily removed from her familiar and comfortable apartment environment. She was initially placed in protective custody in a local hospital overnight and authorities wouldn't let any of her familiar caregivers stay with her in the unfamiliar hospital environment-- an assistant AG and an elder abuse detective basically dropped my mom off at the hospital and left her there alone-- a demented woman in a strange environment with strangers. All of this was the doing of the profoundly incompetent and stupid assistant AG who is very puffed up with her own importance and is extremely arrogant. My mom was so scared, she ended up curled up in a fetal position refusing to feed herself or sit on her own, all things she was doing right up 'til the moment the authorities traumatically and dramatically removed her from her apartment. My mom was then placed in the memory unit of a facility my dad was at. This wasn't where she wanted to be, and she had had it with all of the trauma and drama. Within a month of her unnecessary trauma at the hands of legal authorities, and in particular the assistant AG, my mom took things into her own hands, stopped eating (i.e., starved herself) and died.

I think that the only way that family can be reasonably sure that their elderly parents/relatives are being well cared for is to visit everyday and make sure things are being done right and that your elderly parent's (or other elderly relative's) needs are being properly and adequately met by the facility.

ba8alou: you're lucky that your mom is in a good facility. Unfortunately, those are far and few between. I've heard absolute horror stories about facilities for the elderly, and this came to bear in some of the places my mom was in. Considering that my parents live/lived in a state that has a high population of elderly who go to that location because it's a warm climate (it's not Florida), the state is rated as 48 out of 50 when it comes to providing adequately for the elderly. This, added to the fact of widespread corruption in this state's legal system, doesn't bode well for anyone retiring and growing old in that state.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

You know, I think sometimes of the idea that "us amateurs" can take care of our elders better than professional. How many of us think that we could teach our children better at home? Not I. School is also regimented. My mom moved to independent living (capital I, capital L) because she lived in a three level suburban house with no close neighbors, no access to public transportation and regular panic attacks. She ended up enjoying a stress-free lifestyle in IL. Unfortunately, she had a stroke after just over a year and developed dementia and lung problems. She is now is a good NH and getting good care; family visits often and we spend a great deal of time advocating for her and fixing the little things that go wrong. She's had pneumonia several times, totally asymptomatic. She would have died on my watch several times this year if it were not for the monitoring she's gotten in the NH.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

He won't go voluntarily.
The power of being at home is the last thing left to hold on to.
On the average, most seniors die within two years of being placed in a nursing home.
A nursing home is like being in prison.
You have to get up when they tell you to, eat when they tell you, and follow a regimental lifestyle that they aren't used to.
Your only hope when waking up each day is wondering when your last day will be.
Unless you absolutely have to, I wouldn't put him in a care home.
I have an uncle who runs a care home, and he told me flat out, "You don't want to be put in a care home."
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Yes, I get that too. Also from my spouse who has put off getting hearing aids for the past three years! (and he is young and mentally fit) After a while, repeating every single thing you say, you shout because you are so da_ _ annoyed and disgusted that you are the one who is taking the brunt of something THEY should be fixing instead of forcing you to compensate for them.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

AmyGrace, do you also get the indignant "there's no need to shout!" when she finally does hear you??? You can't win...
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Looloo: no matter how much you do, someone always thinks they know better. Mom had problems with both her hearing aids. With her dementia, she can't even tell if one or the other isn't working or how well its working. All we know is when there is something wrong we end up having to scream for her to hear us. Over a period of two weeks I made five 30 mile round trips, picking up her hearing aid, getting it cleaned, taking it back. Picking up the other taking it to the store to have it sent to be repaired, only to have to go back to Mom's and find out the other one wasn't working either. Back and forth, etc. So I run into two of her friends in the hallway - and what do they do? They bawl me out because I should be buying her new hearing aids like they have and I should be doing something to help her. Of course, they have no idea she NEVER cleans them, refuses to go down and have them cleaned when the lady comes to the facility. She loses the tools, peels the tabs off the batteries and puts them all together so the batteries are half dead when she uses them and she puts the dead ones back with the new ones. But, no, its all our fault she can't hear! I had all I could do not to blow up and tell them to go "you know where", but they are old ladies and they stick together and I'm the bad guy@#!!
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

AmyGrace, your post really helps me to put all the attitudes and comments of clueless people out of my mind a bit (just a bit!). I've been dealing with people who just don't get it, and I just want to shake them and yell "I'm not lying to you or making this s--t up!" They imply, or sometimes explicitly accuse me of not doing ENOUGH. Because I guess if we were doing ENOUGH, we'd have a happy ending to this??? That is the last thing any of us need to hear.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Being a caregiver is REALLY hard. I find that I have to call upon all of my patience... But I also find that I get a lot more with "sugar" than "vinegar." Everybody has their good days and bad days. I am learning to "roll" with it. Life is like a roller coaster and I am finding that this also pertains to the ups and downs of caregiving.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

looloo! You are exactly right. That is the same situation we are in with my mother. Its awful that a medical professional can't help, and awful that it takes a broken hip or severe sickness to get a parent into a safe, nurturing environment. Dementia fools the sufferer into believing he/she doesn't need help and they hide their shortcomings putting themselves at risk and loved ones have to sit back and wait for the "incident" and at the same time praying the "incident" won't kill their parent.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I hate to tell you, but he won't voluntarily go into AL. Many old people are really difficult, selfish and willing to let you "do it all" and at the same time, fighting fiercely for their independence. Good luck. Your only hope of getting him in there is if he has dementia bad enough the doctor will classify him as incompetent. Mom is 99, with moderate to severe dementia living in an independent living facility. She won't go! She desperately needs help and oversight, but we can't do a thing unless we physically force her to move - and then we know we will get hysterics, 50 phone calls a day, threats of suicide (which she doesn't mean, but it would be enough to get her kicked out of AL and into mental care which we can't afford). She gets nasty when she doesn't get her way. You can't reason with someone with dementia. She will listen to no one including the doctor. She can't work the appliances, leaves her Depends in the hamper and sink or drawer, throws half her clothes on the closet floor, doesn't wash, etc. She refuses to let an aide in - says she needs no help - except we do it all - which she pretends is "different". We are so tired of it - 6 years of it, doing it all with no cooperation, no thanks. She has fallen a few times, but insists on climbing stairs, makes bad risky decisions and can't remember what was said 3 minutes ago. But still is able to get herself up, get dressed, make her bed, go to the restaurant to eat lunch and dinner and doesn't cause a problem there, since she minds her own business, she appears to be in control of herself (but isn't). This is enough that the IL won't ask her to leave, and the only hope is the doctor disqualify her from living there, but the doctor won't help because Mom can fool people when she wants to. The doctor says we will have to wait for an "incident" before we move her - yeah, that was three years ago! My advice is to find a doctor who will write an order to move your father if his dementia is bad enough. If not, I'd make plans to move and then inform him there is no room in the new place, that he will have to got to AL. Statistics are that caregivers often die before their patients because of the stress and fatigue and so many of us are seniors ourselves, with health problems of our own. Just keep in mind, he has lived his life, you should have a chance to live yours. I'm glad Mom is in a facility because none of us could ever survive the stress living with her would cause. Even though it is independent living and she is at risk, she has chosen what she wants, we can't legally change it.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Being a caregiver for someone you love is difficult enough. Being a caregiver for someone you don't love makes no sense at all. Most cities have a foundation for seniors/the elderly and you should contact same. Perhaps a social worker could assess the whole situation and give good advice on where to place your father. If he can't pay for it he can go on medicaid. A social worker could advise you on all of this.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Awww. It must be frustrating for you Hon and patience is always supposed to be the virtue we all aim to have.... try funny movies or try to make him laugh. He may be miserable because he doesn't feel good or he's scared. Try LOVE.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

So what's your question? If you don't want to be with him leave. Since he has dementia, do you have medical power of attorney or POA? If you do, and he has funds, then put him with professionals so he can still get care, and then you won't lose your mind.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother would no-way, no-how, voluntarily go to AL. And I couldn't force her into it. Even bringing up the subject made her scream and have a tantrum. What finally DID work for me was her getting to a point where she could not move. The ambulance came, and although they couldn't take her to the hospital against her will (she of course said NO to the hospital), they took her after the words of "let me die" came out of her mouth. From there it was discovered she had a UTI. I knew this was my moment. It was now or never. I made arrangements for an AL home. First, mom was released to a rehab (eww, nursing home and not nice) and then I told her she was moving to another level of care. That's how I got her into AL! She is not happy b/c she is consumed by her ailments and pain, but they provide excellently for her needs. I think she has finally come to terms and accepted the AL. She is in about a month now. My brothers and I are now putting her house up for sale. Had mom gone to the hospital with something worse than a UTI, I doubt she would have made it into an AL. She'd wind up in a NH. I wanted to avoid a NH at all costs.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I can totally relate to your problem. I am caring for both of my terminally ill parents. My mother is in the last stages of Emphysema and my father has Parkinson;r Disease and Dementia. The Dementia has caused my father to be violent sometimes and to also do strange things. The other day he found a hatchet somewhere and tried to go after my mother with it. He has also tried to cook food in the middle of the night in our living room floor ! He turned on the kitchen stove and filled up the house with gas because the burners did not light ! I am at my wits end with him , but am unable to place him in a nursing home because his medicare benefits have bee exhausted until January. I am afraid that something will happen before then !
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

See about having your father assessed by a doctor trained in dementia, and also maybe a neurologist. See if there are medications that might improve his behavior and treatment of you, or of facility staff should you decide to move him. Compare costs of in home assistance vs. memory care etc. In home assistance would get you out of directly caring for your father.

Also, and I am absolutely not an expert here, check with an elder lawyer and see if this changes anything about who inherits his house. My fuzzy brain recalls reading something about the person providing care in parents home having rights to that home after a point. Then again, I could be wrong.

Don't feel bad if you are overwhelmed. It is overwhelming no matter the relationship with your loved one.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

There are programs that provide services in the home, check with your local Area Agency on Aging or Bureau of Senior Services abut their in home programs. You can also ask about caregiver support programs. He may not qualify for assisted living where Medicaid would pay so he would have to private pay. Some people have personality and behavior changes with dementia. I know it can be very frustrating. If he has interests, see if you can get him interested in doing those things, or even some new things if he's accepting. The Area Agency on Aging can give you information so you can make an informed decision and can make referrals for services on his behalf. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My mother also refuses to consider leaving her home. I know I've been enabling by providing so much care and oversight (I'm more of a care manager--no hands on care), but I don't see how it will be possible to get her into a facility if she refuses. Yes, she has dementia, and she is getting worse. But if she refuses, then no facility will take her, unless she's a danger to herself to others, at which point she'd be put into a psych facility. Every expert I've consulted says that unless she's a risk to herself or others, or unless she suffers a medical event which requires a trip to the hospital, there's nothing we can do but wait it out. It hasn't stopped me from trying to figure out another way, but so far, I don't have any solutions.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

lorelieh01: Fortunately, having your mom in the hospital gave you the opportunity to make a change in her living arrangements. With Drefuss's dad being in good physical health, there may not be this opportunity. But, it definitely gives a family caregiver a way to step out of the care giving role. My husband and sister-in-law did the same sort of thing with my mother-in-law as you did with your mom. My mother-in-law was living alone in a house, but refused to even consider moving to a facility. However, when she had fallen for the umpteenth time and finally ended up breaking a hip,my husband and sister-in-law encouraged her, after she was done in the rehab unit at the hospital, to go to an adult care home that my sister-in-law had toured (without my mother-in-law because she refused to go on a tour) and deemed to be the best of the several she had toured. The approach with my mother-in-law was that she should try out the adult care home and if she didn't like it, she could return to her own home. After a week or so there, with not having to worry about cooking and upkeep on a house, my mother-in-law told us that she wanted to stay at the adult care home and sell her house. We were fortunate in that she didn't put up a huge fight once she was at the facility. But, it's usually not that easy and takes an event like going to the hospital to make the move.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

No. My mother is the same way and I just told her I am not capable of caring for her. And I have to say she could care less. It was not until she went into the hospital that I was able to say, "there is no one at home to care for her". and they allowed me time to find a residential care home. My mother still asks to go home and I tell here all the help is here. There is no one at home to care for you. And she lets it go.
Getting the state and social services involved or any other kind of service just doesn't do you any good. I find they are often more work than help.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

Dreyfuss: I agree with Country Mouse's statements. I also believe that even if you've been legally named as his guardian or POA, you have no legal obligation to actually be his caregiver, but would act more in the capacity of his care manager, making sure that he's in an appropriate facility to meet his needs and that he's getting the medical and other care he needs. And, if you haven't legally been named as his guardian or POA, then you have no legal obligation to him whatsoever and should make alternate living arrangements for him and completely step out of the picture of being his care manager and/or caregiver. Does your dad live with you? Are there other family members who are able and/or willing to take charge of his care and living arrangements? If so, enlist the help of these people. If not, seek help (whether it's through Adult Protection Services or some other organization that deals with vulnerable adults) to get him into another living situation outside of your home, if he's living with you, or into a protected and monitored environment if he's living on his own. As IsntEasy stated, enlist the help of your dad's doctor(s). The idea of touring a facility is a good one, but you can't force your dad to go with you. So, tour facilities on your own and gather all the information so you have all of your ducks lined up. If he's willing to go on some tours with you and is open to a trial period, you could tell him that it would be good to try out the facility for just a little while and that if he doesn't like it, he could go back to where he's currently living (unless he's living with you). Also, check with some of the facilities in your area to see if they have a guest room/apartment where they'll allow an elderly person to stay for a long weekend to get a feel for what the facility is like. If all else fails, you may want to consider hiring a home health agency to provide in-home caregivers for your dad. However, unless he has long-term care insurance or good financial resources, this could get costly.

One thing that you need to make sure you do ASAP is to legally protect yourself from your dad. And constantly be on the alert and watching your own back with him. With his long-standing nastiness, your dad sounds like he's mentally ill and has been for awhile. Combine this with his dementia and you have a high potential risk of him reporting you to legal authorities, or others in a position to be legally obligated to do so, for mental abuse and meddling, and possibly even coercion. Given that elder abuse is such a hot button item these days, legal authorities tend to side with the elderly and refuse to listen to the other side of the story or get a broad picture of the situation. So, don't leave yourself open to becoming your dad's scapegoat and becoming a victim to his nasty and demented whims. No doubt, your dad is delusional, which is a dangerous element. I speak from personal experience with my own dad who not only has a long-standing mental illness that has become severe with age but who also has become very adept at hiding his mental illness and dementia and manipulating people into pitying him and believing that he's the victim, when in fact he's the victimizer of many. Here's a link to a post about my experience with a mentally ill, demented, and nasty dad: https://www.agingcare.com/questions/threatened-criminal-prosecution-dad-portrayed-me-as-abuser-172223.htm?cpage=0&post=1&cm=405312&z=1#405312
Several people responding to this post reported similar types of things with their elderly parents, although some not as severe as the situation I encountered.

Good luck in dealing with your situation with your dad. I hope the outcome is a positive one for you
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I agree with Isn'tEasy.. I could only tell you what worked for my 91 yr. old MIL, who has been in AL for four yrs. We knew she was slowing mentally and along with her long-time PCP, convinced her to check out continuing care facilities, "just in case." She chose one and put a deposit on it. She had a surgery several months later and was able to go into the NH component., then right into the AL building because of her deposit. She is in good health, other than diagnosed vascular dementia and probable Alzheimers. She can take care of all her personal activities of daily living, but can't function mentally. I should add that while all this was going on, she was given physical and mental testing by her dr., as well as interviews and assessments by the staff of the continuing care facility, and a nurse from John Hancock, with whom she had long-term care insurance.

Before your dad enters any facility, he will be assessed. AL sounds like the way to go since you write that he is in good health, and I assume can take care of himself. AL here costs about $4300, compared to $11,000 per mo. for full fledged nursing home care, so that's something to consider. Also, even though my MIL is in AL, she is in a special group-for which she pays an extra monthly fee- where she gets extra attention and activities geared for the dozen or so similar residents in the bldg. I might also add at this point that we learned my MIL sometimes gets nasty to the staff and other residents and is often "in one of her moods" (the staff's words) but other times is "very sweet". Should the situation arise, she can be moved to the more costly dementia unit. (We hope this doesn't happen, since her LTC insurance has expired and she is now self pay.) This was our experience, and I hope you find it helpful as you negotiate a very difficult situation.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

If you're even thinking that you "may" need an escape, then you definitely do. By the time I accepted that my mother needed more care than I could provide, I had practically killed myself. All the answers here are good. I particularly like the idea of putting your dad in respite care at a good nursing home for a few weeks, while you rest, take a deep breath and look into all the options for his care. Tour several nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Pay attention to the overall feeling you get from these places. Pay attention to how that patients are being treated, whether or not they're clean, etc. Talk to other family members. How does the facility smell? Are there activites throughout the day, etc. Pick the top 4 to 6 and apply. On my journey, I contacted 21 facilities, toured 15, and came up with 4 I felt good about and an additional 3 I'd settle for if I absolutely had to. None of this is any of our first choices, but it's where we find ourselves. You will learn a lot from these tours and I have found that the ppl in the admissions departments have no problem telling you that your family member may not be approriate for their facility.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Check out some assisted living facilities and tell him you are going out of town or a project at work and the ALF's have what is called Respite Care - tell him you are trying that as he will need to stay there while you are gone... a week... or...it might be that you will feel refreshed.. You can call the facility and see how he is doing.
Or try an agency that has 3 hrs. times. They can come in... Fix your Dad lunch, go for a walk, Take him to the store... What does he like to talk about. Non family members can have a VERY positive effect?
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Get out if you need to.
You can always call Adult Protective Service in you area if you see him being in harms way. If he has been diagnosed with Dementia, it sounds as if Adult Protective Service needs to be involved. They are great @ helping see what is available to him & with keeping him safe.
If he needs more assistance in him home, that too can be provided for.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

He might qualify for AL. It depends on how advanced his Dementia is. There are two types of AL and a Memory Care AL might be your answer. If I were you I would contact my local Aging and Disablity Resource Center for assistance. Getting him into the appropriate facility will help him and you. Good Luck!
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sometimes it is really hard to take care of a parent most especially if you have experienced bad things with him. This is just an assumption because as you have mentioned, he has always been nasty towards you or towards to people. If you could still try to exert a little more effort to take of your father, try to do so. After all he is still your father and losing someone dear to your lives hurts him as well. The feeling of uncertainty towards what going to happen next is very normal so what you are feeling right now is just normal.
On the practical side, if you think that you are not emotionally prepared to take care of your father, you might as well send him to a nursing home to be taken care of. There they could take care of his medications, attend to his needs and be in safe and protected environment. But just like what I have earlier said, he’s in pain as much as you are in after losing your mother, his wife, so extending his stay together with you seems to be just. It all depends on you. If you can handle things, then have him stay with you. The feeling of getting close to insanity is just part of the adjustment stage. But again, it all ends up to a decision that is healthy for you physically and emotionally as well as your fathers too.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Nope, he won't. Especially not if you're meeting his needs. Even if you pull yourself out of the equation, he could still insist that he's OK on his own.
You'll need to step up and take charge. Get his doctor on your side by writing a letter to him/her before a visit (if he regularly visits the doctor and has a relationship with him or her). Pick out a community and take your dad for a tour.
I don't agree that he's necessarily a bad candidate for AL just because he has dementia. Depending upon the communities available where you live, he could do very well in AL. It's a more lively living environment and it's cheaper. Around here, a resident won't get booted to a dementia unit unless he's an exit seeker or he's abusive of staff or other residents. Many ALs have dementia units anyway, so no need for a move. You said he's in pretty good shape otherwise, so his physical needs could be met by an AL.
Good luck. Hang tough and don't waver. You have much more at stake than he does in winning this battle!
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

The 2 posters before me are right---why would your dad go into AL if he has you? And I agree that AL may not be appropriate. It sounds like he would need to be in a skilled care facility. If you move him into AL it'll be just a short time before you have to move him out and into a NH.

If you're burned out and miserable it might be time to start thinking about options.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.